The office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has released a new statement claiming that Monday’s leak the indictment of former President Donald Trump — which was posted to the district website before the grand jury had convened — was a “working document.” Willis had previously claimed that the leaked indictment was “fictitious” and not real.
Reuters reported Monday that the indictment of former President Donald Trump had leaked on the district’s website. Not long after the report went live, the document — which ended up being the actual indictment of the former president — was deleted.
The lead sparked a fury among pro-Trump Republicans and the president’s legal team, who asserted that the former president’s due process rights had been violated. “The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has once against shown that they have no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process. This was not a simple administrative mistake,” Trump’s legal team said in a statement Monday. “A proposed indictment should only be in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office, yet it somehow made its way to the clerk’s office and was assigned a case number and a judge before the grand jury even deliberated. This is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception.”
Willis later claimed the document was “fictitious” and insinuated that the screenshot shared by Reuters was not real. When asked about the incident during a press conference on Monday evening, the Fulton County DA claimed ignorance and referred all questions to the clerk.
Less than 24 hours later, however, Willis’ office had already abandoned their initial story.
“On August 14, a media outlet using the Fulton County press que obtained a docket sheet and shared it with other media outlets who then released the sample working document related to the former United States President, Donald Trump — reporting that an indictment had been returned by the Special Grand Jury,” Willis’ office wrote in a press release.
Willis’ office then claimed that the uploaded document was merely a “trial run” conducted by Fulton County clerk Che Alexander.
“In anticipation of issues that arise with entering a potentially large indictment, [the clerk] used charges that pre-exist in Odyssey to test the system and conduct a trial run,” the release continued. “Unfortunately, the sample working document led to the docketing of what appeared to be an indictment but which was in fact only an fictitious dock sheet.”
The Fulton County Clerk just released a statement attributing the early release of the Trump indictment before the grand jury vote to a “trial run” and that “the sample working document led to the docketing of what appeared to be an indictment but which was in fact only an… pic.twitter.com/tHEbaMZHxY
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 15, 2023
Numerous legal experts have stated that the Trump legal team will likely point to the leak when asking for a mistrial.